storage pits

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Roughly cylindrical or conical pits dug through the topsoil into the underlying bedrock to depths of up to 3 m to provide underground storage space for cereal grain. Experiments show that if the tops are kept sealed they provide very effective storage and allow high germination rates where the grain is to be used as seed. In the British Isles such pits are especially common on sites dating to the 1st millennium bc; archaeologically they are important because they were often used as rubbish pits after their primary purpose had been fulfilled.

Subjects: Archaeology.

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